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Best Burgers in the Triangle?

Did anyone see Jeopardy last night?

If you did, you saw a contestant, a young man from Durham, declare that his life quest was to find the world's best cheeseburger. Currently atop his list? Sutton's Drugstore on Franklin St.

Now, I actually agree with him. The burgers at Sutton's are unimaginably good; they are made from pretty good quality meat and they are grilled fresh on a grill that has seen its share of students come and go.

But, I was wondering what other people think. What is the best place to get a good ol' burger in the Triangle?

My top three:
1) Sutton's
2) Chargrill
3) Fat Daddy's

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  1. Suttons's, really? I'm a new UNC student and have passed it a thousand times, but never really thought it would be good...I'll have to check it out!

    5 Replies
    1. re: eliah

      I'll have to check out Sutton's. I like Wimpy's and the Fed in Durham. Sawmill Tap in Raleigh makes a mean burger. Nor sure about Wimpy's but the other 2 places grind their own meat and that's key.

      1. re: Tom from Raleigh

        Wimpy's also grinds their own meat daily - great burgers!

      2. re: eliah

        Oh, do check out Sutton's. It's an old-fashioned lunch counter, which is such a rarity these days. It's like a blast from the past. And while I cannot speak for the cheeseburgers, the BLTs are just like Mom used to make (assuming your Mom was into making stuff like that :) ). And cheap, too! Simple, good, inexpensive food.

        1. re: romansperson

          Slightly OT but still fairly relevant - while the burgers aren't the best in town, the BLT's and egg salad at Hayes Barton in Raleigh are wooooooonderful...

        2. re: eliah

          Replying to my own post to say: I just got back from Sutton's, and it was a great burger! Nothing fancy, but there's no reason a burger ought to be. I got a cheeseburger, with tomato and lettuce, and it was simple and intensely satisfying. $4.25 or something. Came with chips. Service was pleasant enough, if a bit brisk; but they had something of a lunch-time rush so that's perfectly understandable. I can see I'll be coming back.

        3. For me, you have to have a medium rare to medium burger so that means they have to grind their own meat....I like Porter's, Federal, Capital City Chop House, Parizade (they have a sourdough gruyere cheeseburger with caramelized onions at lunch). Haven't been to 501 Diner in ages but they used to have a good one. Used to like Sawmill Taproom but last time there it was only medium well and above. Haven't yet been to Dain's Place but that is next on the list.

          1. In Raleigh, the Player's Retreat makes a hell of a burger. With an amazing Scotch collection to wash it down. It's on Oberlin Rd near Hillsborough.

            1. Dain's has a pretty substantial and yummy burger. Elmo's has won Indy awards for best burgers, but I don't know that I agree.

              As for Sutton's, in my years at UNC, I never had a burger. I always deferred to the egg salad sandwich or BLT.

              1. In the early 90s, I'd go to Suttons just to get a veggie burger with pickle, slaw, chili, mustard, lettuce, and tomato.

                They are not gourmet anything, but there are times when I just want good old-fashioned pharmacy counter food. Places mostly long gone, like McDonalds on 9th Street in Durham, or the Halls Drug Store in Oxford, NC, or that old place that used to be in downtown Smithfield that had those *great* hotdogs 40 years ago.